Monday, January 24, 2011

had waaaaaayyyyy too much time on your hands?

So I picked up a new center console section at the JY the other day. I brought it in the house and started cleaning it when I realized that there is a light inside the compartment. It has never worked as long as I have had my car(2nd owner). It looks as if there is supposed to be some kind of switch that is activated when the door is opened that turns on the light. Most others have said theirs doesn't work(possible bulb?) or that it isn't there at all. In the pic below it would be plugged into the wiring on the left. I'm assuming that it was always on or something and the previous owner removed the switch(or else my memory is poor wich is a possibility, but I don't remember doing this).

I went to the dealership to find a part number and it's discontinued and they couldn't even provide a part number for me. I was also considering picking one up from the JY, or finding one from someone parting out their car. I decided that it may not work well with the door so I decided to make my own switch.
1st I took the old compartment and drilled several holes to decide what placement I liked. I ended up liking the hole that is the uppermost in this picture. It ends up being just to the back of the door spring inside. The other two holes are too low and the switch I installed interferes with the outer part of the console. Once I decided what hole would work best I measured and put it in the same place on the good compartment.

This picture is the backside of the switch. I soldered it and put heatshrink on as best as I could. I connected the other ends to the wires of the switch connecter that was in the 1st picture. I checked the continuity with a tester and the switch works perfectly.

Here is the picture of the switch inside. This switch was $2.99 from radio shack. I thought about doing ones with the light on the switch, or the push button ones, but in the end I wanted a non-lighted one that looked clean and I ended up liking this rocker switch because it is relatively low profile and really looks like it belongs there. I'll get a picture once I put it back in. I ordered a blue LED 194 bulb that will get here next week sometime. Hopefully it looks good. I may experiment with some other lights in the car.

Let me know what you guys think. Any other ideas appreciated. I'm thinking about trying to figure out some kind of armrest compartment light.
Thanks for reading

Updated. I was unhappy with the light in the center console. It only put a small amount of light over the ashtray. The main purpose was to have ample light to see down inside the console at night. There were a lot of different LEDs and such on ebay, but I decided to go get them from autozone because I could compare the different lights(they have a little battery pack attached). I ended up with the LED strips. You can cut them to different lengths. I cut a 6" strip and stuck it to the top of the inside of the console. Here are some pics

I still have about 18" of LED strips so I may expirement in the armrest compartment or other places.

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